Save Our Stow, the lobby organisation committed to bringing back greyhound racing, leisure and mixed tenure use of housing for the iconic Walthamstow stadium in East London, is totally amazed and shocked by the latest press release from London & Quadrant, the site owners (Click HERE to view).
L&Q paid 18.1 million pounds (mainly tax payers’ money) for the site, which has been land banked for the last two years – costing the tax payer more money by the day with rates and security costs. L&Q now claim they can only build 300 units on the site, down from the original 500 units in their public consultation. This is in effect an admission that they paid far too much for the land as their purchase price would have been based on their building 500 units, not the proposed 300 units. We calculate that they have wasted over £8m of part tax payers money on this deal to date.
L&Q have also not obtained planning permission, and will not be able to do so as the site will be protected by the forthcoming Unitery Development Plan. Again, L&Q’s buying the site without planning permission is total professional incompetence of the highest level and a gamble of tax payers money.
We have had numerous dates from L&Q for when plans will be submitted – the earliest being late 2008 – so any claims made by L&Q cannot be believed. The social housing will only be 150 units, as opposed to Save Our Stow plans which include approximately 65 units and create numerous local jobs, a boost for the whole economy and taking low paid workers off benefits in line with Government policy .
Waltham Forest Council has faced cutbacks from Central Government, including scrapping of the schools building programme. Yet London & Quadrant is in the borough stopping inward investment and jobs vital to the area. The 8 million wasted by L&Q could have been used on the schools building programme, helping local people in the borough.
L&Q have already had a public consultation with the local residents, which was attended by hundreds. They demanded the return of greyhound racing to the iconic site and L&Q have been told by the Borough’s MPs in no uncertain terms – as well as the Mayor of London – that greyhound racing should return to its historic home. The results of this ‘public’ consultation was never made public because of the overwhelming support for the return of greyhound racing.
L&Q are totally out of touch with the residents of the borough, Councillors, the Mayor of London, and MPs. They should stop all actions on the stadium, thus not wasting any more tax payers’ money, and sell to Mr Morton who will bring back our heritage, hundreds of jobs, inward investment and social housing to the borough.